Worldwide Association for Preservation and Restoration of Ecological Diversity (WAPRED) is an environmental NGO (established in 1997) to promote ecological awareness and develop sustainable methods of agriculture within the Western Ghats region of India. The eco-tourism project was developed to raise funds for the NGO so we could implement our various activities. We do not rely on any external funding.
Previously, our major research activities have focused on the development of botanically-derived pest control agents (supported by a grant from National Geographic Society).
We have been able to restore a trophic balance in our ecosystem. Today, our farm supports high numbers of predators (birds, frogs, dragonflies, spiders, etc.), which keeps the insect pests in check naturally. We are now focusing on maintaining healthy living soils to support healthy crops.
Our community initiatives are focused on engaging with local farmers. In 2005, we were awarded 1st prize from eco-club.com for a project to establish the Galibeedu Organic Association, a cooperative and resource-sharing network for local subsistence farmers in Kodagu. This has allowed WAPRED to share its research and organic practices with other local growers; however, there is still resistance to change environmentally harmful practices. We continue to host workshops for local planters to demonstrate low-cost sustainable methods of agriculture while emphasizing the important role biodiversity plays in agro-ecology.
Our current research is focused on documentation of the amazing flora and fauna found here. We have documented rare species of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and insects and published several scientific papers.
We have undertaken a comprehensive 3-year research project to examine how agricultural methods (organic vs. conventional/chemical) affect biodiversity levels in Kodagu district and published our results. This study (which looks at ground insects and Nymphalid butterflies) clearly shows that organic plantations of coffee and cardamom support a significantly greater biodiversity than their chemical counterparts.
We have also published a couple of booklets on ecological farming as well as a coffee-table book which showcases the range of biodiversity diversity found here.
In response to the devastating landslides of August 2018, our NGO has initiated efforts to assist with rehabilitation of local inhabitants and affected landscapes. Shelter has been provided for 2 affected families and we have raised funds to help them rebuild. We have also collected slips and seeds local grasses (and Vetiver grass) to be used in rehabilitation of locally affected landscapes including ours.